BAE SYSTEMS press report says that 375 local jobs will be lost, 205 at Samlesbury and 170 at Warton. In addition in 2012 the Woodford in Manchester site will be closed with a loss of 630 jobs following completion of Nimrod work. Farnborough has 116 jobs less on Harrier.
The Samlesbury work is said to come with the end of Airbus work for Spirit Aerosystems who are a US based aero-structures company. I was looking at their website and noted that they have recently opened a site in Malaysia and the work to be done there sounded similar to that they quoted at Samlesbury (and Prestwick), including carbon fibre structural components which sound like the high end of capability.
At Warton the job reduction is in manufacturing Tornado, Hawk and Nimrod.
The unions are reported in the LEP as saying that they wish to avoid compulsory redundancy. I don’t know how the F35 / JSF work builds up but it is surprising that with the large quantities forecast for this project that there is a reduction. Particularly at Samlesbury and the total number locally sounds small enough to manage with voluntary arrangements.
On top of that BAE SYSTEMS have recently been trumpeting their UAV projects and although these might be a long way from production quantities that would sustain a workforce they add more scope for jobs in future.
Defence companies have recently been lobbying parliament about maintaining projects and maybe this is a demonstration of the fragility of the workload.
In the UK we are good at defence products, along with pharmaceuticals and finance (sic). Let’s keep them strong.